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Any Dream Will Do
By Linda Albert
(Page 2 of 2)

So now I have resorted to stream of consciousness in order to see if there’s anything I might yet learn. It occurs to me my unconscious is trying to tell me I am currently standing on the stage of my life without a Dreamcoat. “A something of something, a flash of light, that golden coat flew out of sight. The world has turned to darkness. I am all alone.” That might be a little melodramatic; I’m pretty sure I’m not in a full-fledged depression, but somehow there is a relationship to this song and the way my emotional life now stands.

My husband is recuperating well. His surgeon says he is ahead of schedule in his healing. Though walking laboriously because of his 22 years with Parkinson’s, and unable to be on his own, he is once again able to walk with a walker much of the time, after having been confined full time to a wheelchair for two months before the hip replacement. We have loving and helpful children, caring friends and, when needed, professional help. We live in an apartment with beautiful views. There is a lot for which to be grateful. I know this. But life has gotten narrower and more confining. My husband is frustrated and sometimes angry that he is not more independent; I am more impatient.

In writing this, I realize I am currently without a dream. This is a painful realization. The illusion of control I had in regard to my husband’s Parkinson’s disease has disappeared. And, worst of all, the sense of mutual purpose and harmony of interests we enjoyed together during our Florida retirement seems, in larger part than I wish, to have slipped away as well. I hope this is temporary, but how can I know? Our sense of hope and optimism is harder to come by some days; that silver lining is harder to find.

While I’m not ready to give up, the realities are clear. We are in a new phase of life, and new challenges await us: how to accept and cope with the growing demands of a progressive illness with all its attendant emotional complexity and confusion; how to find the necessary balance between giving care and providing safety while continuing to respect my husband’s obvious need for autonomy; how to find interests we can still enjoy together despite new limitations and changing needs on both our parts, and, finally, how to discover and manage an independent life for myself away from illness and responsibility without feeling guilty that in doing so I am abandoning my husband and leaving him behind.

“The world and I we are still waiting. Anticipating. Any dream will do. Bring back that colored coat, that amazing colored coat. Bring back that colored coat. That amazing colored coat.”

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